Abstract Title:

Stool-fermented Plantago ovata husk induces apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells independently of molecular phenotype.

Abstract Source:

Br J Nutr. 2012 Jun ;107(11):1591-602. Epub 2011 Sep 29. PMID: 22018732

Abstract Author(s):

Vanessa R Sohn, Anna Giros, Rosa M Xicola, Lourdes Fluvià, Mike Grzybowski, Anna Anguera, Xavier Llor

Article Affiliation:

Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Section, Department of Medicine and Cancer Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, 840 South Wood Street (M/C 716), Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Several studies have suggested that the partially fermentable fibre Plantago ovata husk (PO) may have a protective effect on colorectal cancer (CRC). We studied the potentially pro-apoptotic effect of PO and the implicated mechanisms in CRC cells with different molecular phenotypes (Caco-2, HCT116, LoVo, HT-29, SW480) after PO anaerobic fermentation with colonic bacteria as it occurs in the human colon. The fermentation products of PO induced apoptosis in all primary tumour and metastatic cell lines, independent of p53, adenomatous polyposis coli,β-catenin or cyclo-oxygenase-2 status. Apoptosis was caspase-dependent and both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways were implicated. The intrinsic pathway was activated through a shift in the balance towards a pro-apoptotic environment with an up-regulation of B-cell lymphoma protein 2 homologous antagonist killer (BAK) and a down-regulation of B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xL) seen in HCT116 and LoVo cells. This resulted in mitochondrial membrane depolarisation, increased expression of caspase activators second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases (Smac)/Diablo, death effector apoptosis-inducing factor, apoptosome member apoptotic protease activating factor 1 and down-regulation of inhibitors of apoptosis Survivin and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis in most cells. The extrinsic pathway was activated presumably through the up-regulation of death receptor (DR5). Some important differences were seen between primary tumour and metastatic CRC cells. Thus, metastatic PO-treated LoVo cells had a remarkable up-regulation of TNF-α ligand along with death-inducing signalling complex components receptor interacting protein and TNF-α receptor 1-associated death domain protein. The extrinsic pathway modulator FCICE-inhibitory protein (FLIP), an inhibitor of both spontaneous death ligand-independent and death receptor-mediated apoptosis, was significantly down-regulated after PO treatment in all primary tumour cells, but not in metastatic LoVo. These findings suggest that PO could potentially be a useful chemotherapy adjuvant.

Study Type : Human In Vitro

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